Help us bless the people of Israel.

Friday, September 18, 2020

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Every week, we post seven to ten news stories from Israel with a suggested prayer focus and scripture for each one, guiding readers how to pray for Israel’s most urgent needs. This Prayer Update is also sent to over 18,000 subscribers every Friday by e-mail. Please contact us at intl.office@bridgesforpeace.com if you would like to receive this Prayer Update by e-mail.

History Made: Israel, UAE, Bahrain Sign Landmark Peace Deal

by Kate Norman

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The signing ceremony of the Abraham Accords. Left to right: Bahrain Foreign Minister Abdullatif al-Zayani, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump, and UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

Wednesday, 16 September 2020 | On Tuesday, September 15, history was made as leaders from Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain met in Washington DC to sign the landmark Abraham Accords, making the UAE and Bahrain the third and fourth Arab states to normalize relations with the Jewish state.

US President Donald Trump joined Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed and Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani on the south lawn of the White House to sign the historic agreements, which, Trump said, “mark the dawn of a new Middle East.”

“These agreements prove that the nations of the region are breaking free from the failed approaches of the past,” Trump said in a speech before the signing ceremony. “Today’s signing sets history on a new course. And there will be other countries very, very soon that will follow these great leaders.”

The UAE and Bahrain follow Egypt and Jordan, who signed their respective treaties with Israel in 1979 and 1994—more than a quarter of a century ago. “Now we have achieved two in a single month,” Trump noted, “and there are more to follow.”

Sitting before the flags of their nations, the four leaders signed multiple agreements, each in Hebrew, English and Arabic.

The US, Israel and the UAE signed a full treaty of peace, diplomatic relations and full normalization, according to the White House website. The US, Israel and Bahrain signed declarations of peace—simply because Bahrain entered the peace deal later, leaving less time to hash out a detailed peace treaty. All four men then signed the Abraham Accords—named after the patriarch Abraham, an important figure in all three faiths.

“Today, we are ready—we are already witnessing a change in the heart of the Middle East, a change that will send hope around the world,” Emirati Foreign Minister Bin Zayed said in his speech.

With smiles on their faces, they nudged each other and asked for help finding where to sign on the documents in their unfamiliar languages. Once all the i’s were dotted and the t’s crossed, they traded the pens they had used to sign the historic documents—each tucking the memento in the breast pockets of their suits.

Prime Minister Netanyahu pointed out how the historic accords will bless the Middle East. “First, because this peace will eventually expand to include other Arab states, and ultimately it can end the Arab–Israeli conflict once and for all,” Netanyahu said. “Because this is not only a peace between leaders, it’s a peace between peoples—Israelis, Emiratis and Bahrainis are already embracing one another. We are eager to invest in a future of partnership, prosperity and peace.”

Before the ceremony, Trump and Netanyahu met in the Oval Office, where Trump said five more countries are slated to come to the table “down the road,” the Jerusalem Post reported. The next potential nations to make peace with Israel include Oman, Morocco and Saudi Arabia.

While the documents of peace were being signed in Washington, rockets were being fired from Gaza toward Israeli communities near the border. Nonetheless, this marks a significant shift in Arab–Israeli relations. Gone are the days of the Palestinians holding a veto over peace in the region. Arab states are now willing to normalize relations with the Jewish state before ending the Israeli–Palestinian conflict—a significant departure from past Arab protocol.

“Instead of focusing on past conflicts, people are now focused on creating a vibrant future filled with endless possibilities,” Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner—a key figure in the peace negotiations—said in a statement.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, September 16, 2020)

Photo Credit: The White House/flickr.com

Photo License: flickr.com

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord that He is opening the door to peace for Israel in answer to decades of prayer from both Jews and Christians. Thank Him for this change in protocol, hopefully freeing Israel from the negative effects of the Palestinian narrative. Pray that He will continue to protect Israel’s interests as they move forward in building partnerships with more Arab nations.

Scripture

I will hear what God the LORD will speak, for He will speak peace to His people and to His saints; but let them not turn back to folly.


- Psalm 85:5

As Israel Signs Peace Deal, Palestinians Fire Rockets

by Ilse Strauss

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The scene of the rocket strike in Ashdod

Wednesday, 16 September 2020 | Many around the world celebrated alongside Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain when high-level representatives from the three countries met at the White House yesterday for the official signing ceremony of the historic Abraham Accords. Yet not everybody was equally pleased about the landmark peace deal between the Jewish and Arab states.

As the UAE foreign minister delivered his opening remarks, the Palestinians made their feelings about peace in the region crystal clear by firing a pair of missiles on the southern cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod, giving hundreds of thousands of Israelis 15 seconds to scramble for the safety of a bomb shelter.

The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted one of the projectiles, while the second struck a street in Ashdod, injuring two and causing damage.

Yet the Palestinian terrorists were not done for the night.

The ink was scarcely dry on the treaty documents when the Palestinians rained down a second barrage of 13 rockets on southern Israel.

According to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the second wave of attacks came in the predawn hours this morning and sent sirens wailing at least five times in half an hour. The Iron Dome shot down eight of the projectiles, while the remaining five likely struck open areas, causing no damage or injuries.

The IDF responded with two rounds of retaliatory strikes on Gaza. The first came in response to the initial pair of rockets fired late last night, while the second answered the volley of 13 rockets fired in the predawn hours.

Last night’s attacks mark the first outbreak of violence since an unofficial cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas brought a nearly month-long cycle of back-and-forth strikes and counterstrikes to an end late last month. It is also the largest volley of rockets fired on Israel since February.   

Neither Hamas—the terror group ruling the Gaza Strip—nor Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)—the second largest terror group operating in the coastal enclave—accepted responsibility. However, both organizations publically stated their support, which the Times of Israel says implies that they implicitly greenlighted the strikes to coincide with the signing of the peace accords.

The Jerusalem Post argues, however, that the real culprit behind the rockets raining down on Israel last night is Iran, the terror puppet master pulling the strings of both Hamas and PIJ.

Iran, writes Seth Franztman, hovered in the “shadow of the peace deal” last night and may have had “advance knowledge of the strikes.”

Yet perhaps the main takeaway from last night is not so much the fact that rockets were fired, who fired them or who gave the order to flip the switch. Last night simply proved—yet again—that the Palestinians and their terror overlords in Tehran will always choose the destruction of Israel over peace in the region.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, September 16, 2020)

Photo Credit: Micky Rosenfeld/Police foreign press spokesman

Prayer Focus
Pray that the Palestinian reaction to peace will finally reveal to the nations what their real intentions have always been: the destruction of Israel. Beseech Him that the change in the political climate will in fact bring about peace for the Palestinians as well and pray that the growing coalition of Middle Eastern states will be a wake-up call for Iran.

Scripture

Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but counselors of peace have joy.


- Proverbs 12:20

Israeli Coronavirus Vaccine Human Trials to Begin Soon

by Sarit Rosenblum

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Human testing will be conducted at Sheba and Hadassah medical centers (illustrative).

Friday, 11 September 2020 | The Israel Institute for Biological Research announced on Thursday it will begin human trials of its potential coronavirus vaccine next month.

In June, the Ness Ziona-based facility first announced the end of the vaccine’s development stages, with hamsters who received the vaccination and were later exposed to the contagion found to not contract the virus.

Human testing will be conducted at Sheba and Hadassah medical centers and will include approximately 100 volunteers—whose recruitment will begin in the coming days.

The initial phase will test for any major side effects. Should the initial test prove successful, the trials will be expanded to hundreds of volunteers.

It is estimated that trials will begin at the start of October and will last for several weeks. Those who receive the vaccine will receive payment for their contribution and will remain under medical surveillance for a year.

While the experiment still requires the approval of the Ministry of Health’s Helsinki Committee (who oversees the rights, safety and well-being of participants recruited for medical research), the two hospitals where the trial is set to take place have already begun their preparations to recruit “young and healthy” volunteers.

Both hospitals were selected due to having large centers capable of mass clinical trials. In the next stages of the experiment, the trial will be expanded and will include additional medical centers throughout the country.

“In the coming weeks, a clinical trial of the coronavirus vaccine, developed at the Ness Ziona Institute for Biological Research, will begin,” said Prof. Zeev Rotstein, CEO of Hadassah Medical Center.

Hadassah has stated that it is ready to serve as a trial facility and will comply with all binding rules, including reports to world authorities, including the US’s FDA.

Prof. Rotstein added that the staff of the Moscow branch of the hospital began recruiting hundreds of volunteers to test the Russian coronavirus vaccine, codenamed Sputnik 5.

“We hope that the Sputnik 5 experiment that is taking place in Russia will also be approved for execution at the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem,” added Prof. Rotstein.

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on September 10, 2020. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Dimitri Houtteman/unsplash.com

Prayer Focus
Pray that Israel’s efforts will be successful in producing a vaccine against the coronavirus. Pray that the testing period will go smoothly and quickly, getting the vaccine to the public as soon as is safely possible.

Scripture

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge.


- Psalm 91:3–4

Iran’s Offer of Nuclear Cooperation is a Sham

by Con Coughlin~Gatestone Institute

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A uranium conversion facility (illustrative)

Wednesday, 16 September 2020 | Iran’s belated offer to allow United Nations nuclear inspectors to visit two controversial nuclear sites should be seen as nothing more than a stunt to get the international ban on arms sales to Tehran lifted.

Washington is fighting attempts by the UN Security Council to lift the arms embargo on Iran, a document that dates back to 2007 and comes up for renewal next month.

This effort has prompted Iran to launch a diplomatic offensive to have the arms embargo lifted, a move that would allow Tehran to increase its ability to supply arms to terror groups such as [Hezbollah] and Hamas, as well as the Houthi rebels in Yemen fighting US-backed coalition forces.

As part of the Iranian campaign, Tehran has reached a deal with the UN-sponsored International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Vienna-based organization responsible for monitoring global nuclear issues, to allow inspectors to visit two controversial sites that are suspected of being part of Iran’s controversial nuclear program.

The IAEA has been in a dispute with Iran over Tehran’s refusal to allow inspectors to visit the sites following suspicions that they have been involved in activity related to Iran’s nuclear program that has not been declared to the UN body.

Israeli intelligence officials have since identified one of the sites as the Abadeh Nuclear Weapons Development Site and claim that experiments using conventional explosives are believed to have been conducted there. When inspectors demanded access last year, satellite photographs showed that some buildings had been razed to the ground.

The stand-off between Tehran and the IAEA over the sites, together with disputes over other unresolved issues, prompted the organization to take the unprecedented step of publishing a special report in March about the unanswered questions that remained about Iran’s nuclear activities and the lack of cooperation inspectors had received from Tehran.

This was followed in June when the IAEA’s Board of Governors, led by the US and the European signatories to the deal—Britain, France and Germany—issued a rare condemnation of Iran for stonewalling its nuclear inspectors and called on the country to allow the agency access to two undeclared sites. The resolution was the first time the organization had formally criticized the Islamic Republic since 2012.

Now, in an attempt to improve its standing with the UN, Iran has negotiated a deal with Rafael Grossi, the recently-appointed director general of the IAEA, to allow inspectors to visit the sites, a move Tehran believes will help to persuade the UN to lift the arms embargo.

“Iran is desperate to get the arms embargo lifted at the UN, and so has decided to cooperate with the IAEA to improve relations with the UN,” a senior Western diplomat familiar with the negotiations, but who asked not to be named, told me. “Tehran believes that if it cooperates with the UN, there is a greater possibility that the arms embargo will not be renewed.”

Critics of the deal argue that the agreement is simply a ploy by Iran to improve relations with the IAEA at a critical juncture and that Iran has no real intention of complying with the IAEA’s inspection teams. Iran has previously prevented IAEA inspectors from visiting sensitive nuclear sites, an action that resulted in the imposition of the arms embargo in the first place.

The key issue now is whether Iran’s agreement with the IAEA will pave the way for ending the arms embargo, which is due to expire on October 18.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has already announced that Washington intends to implement a “snapback” option to prevent the embargo being lifted, and US President Donald Trump is expected to raise the issue when he addresses the UN General Assembly later this month.

Washington’s attempts to have the arms embargo extended beyond October are certainly being followed closely in the Middle East.

As a senior Gulf official, who also asked not to be named, told me earlier this week, lifting the ban would simply allow Iran to continue arming terror groups in the Middle East. “If the ban is lifted, then we are going to see a lot more bloodshed in the region,” the official warned.

Con Coughlin is the Telegraph’s Defense and Foreign Affairs Editor and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Gatestone Institute on September 14, 2020. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: CSIRO/wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Beseech the Lord for His intervention, making sure that the arms embargo remains in force. Pray that the IAEA will see through Iran’s thinly veiled attempt to ingratiate themselves with the UN for the sole purpose of securing an end to the embargo.

Scripture

The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity. You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.


- Psalm 5:5–6

Alleged Israeli Strike Damages Hezbollah Missile Production Site in Syria

by Kate Norman

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An Israeli fighter yet (illustrative)

Monday, 14 September 2020 | An air strike in Syria on Friday that was attributed to Israel targeted a missile production factory, according to satellite images published by an Israeli intelligence firm.

“The attack intended to weaken the missile production in Syria, probably for [Hezbollah], by harming its crucial elements,” ImageSat International assessed.

The intel firm published satellite photos showing before and after images of a missile production site near Aleppo in northeastern Syria. The images show two buildings before the strike, and after, one of the buildings, “which probably contained explosives,” according to ImageSat, was completely destroyed while the other was damaged.

“These structures played a significant part in the missile production at Al-Safirah Missile Factory,” ImageSat asserted.

After the attack on Friday, Syrian state-affiliated SANA news reported that the Syrian military intercepted the incoming Israeli missiles—an often-repeated and empty claim by the regime to save face. As shown by the satellite images, the military sites were clearly damaged, meaning Syria’s impenetrable defense was in fact penetrated.

Israel, in keeping with its policy, has not commented on its involvement in the air strikes. However, Israeli leaders have over the years acknowledged conducting hundreds of strikes in war-torn Syria since 2011 to prevent Iran and its terror proxies from entrenching in the region and establishing launching pads for attacks on the Jewish state. In the past, strikes attributed to Israel have hit weapons shipments (often bound for Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah), weapons manufacturing sites and other terror targets.

Friday’s air strikes were the latest in a series over the past few weeks attributed to Israel, targeting Syrian military and Iranian-backed terror targets.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, September 14, 2020)

Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces/flickr.com

Photo License: Flickr

Prayer Focus
Beseech the Lord again for Israel’s success in destroying weapons shipments, weapons manufacturing sites and other terror targets. Pray that Iran will not be successful in entrenching itself and its terror proxies in Israel’s backyard, positioning themselves for attacks on the Jewish state.

Scripture

Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men; preserve me from violent men, who plan evil things in their hearts; they continually gather together for war.


- Psalm 140:1–2

On Eve of Rosh HaShanah, Israel’s Population Tops 9 Million

by Yaron Druckman

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Celebrating Independence Day in Israel on April 29, 2020

Thursday, 17 September 2020 | There are today some 9,246,000 residents of Israel, the Central Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday, as it released its annual population report on the eve of Rosh Hashanah [Jewish New Year], which begins on Friday.

The CBS also predicted that Israel’s population was set to reach 10 million people by the end of 2024, 15 million by the end of 2048, and 20 million by 2065.

According to the CBS, since September 1, 2019, approximately 170,000 babies have been born in Israel, 44,000 people have died, and 20,000 people have made aliyah [immigrated to Israel].

All in all, Israel’s population has grown by 150,000 people since Rosh HaShanah 2019.

About 6,841,000 of the residents of Israel are Jews, constituting 74% of the population. About 1,946,000 (21%) are Arab and some 459,000 people are non-Arab Christians, members of other religions and people without a religious affiliation.

The data also shows that 43.1% of Jews in Israel define themselves as secular, 21.1% as traditional, 12.8% as traditional-religious, 11.3% as religious and 10.1% as ultra-Orthodox.

The data also show that life expectancy for women in Israel is 84.7 years and 81 years for men.

The data also show that about 74% of Israelis live in cities, about 15% in local councils, about 10% in regional councils and 0.7% in localities without municipal status.

The data also show that 11.5% of Israelis experienced poverty in the past year. In addition, 20.2% of Israelis feel permanently or periodically stressed; 19.6% feel often or occasionally lonely and 24.9% have felt discriminated against in the past year.

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by Ynetnews on September 16, 2020. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Sarah Yoder/bridgesforpeace.com

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord that Israel’s population continues to grow as He brings His people home from the nations and establishes them in their ancient land. Pray for His continued blessing on every area of Israeli society, and pray especially for those who are experiencing stress, loneliness and discrimination. Also pray for those who live below the poverty level and ask God’s continued blessing on Bridges for Peace as we work to help the nation care for the those who live in poverty.

Scripture

And the LORD will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give you.


- Deuteronomy 28:11

IDF Completes Drill Simulating Kidnapping, Large-scale Violence

by Ilse Strauss

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IDF soldiers participating in a drill (illustrative)

Friday, 11 September 2020 | Thousands of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers and reservists yesterday concluded a surprise three-day drill in Judea and Samaria simulating a kidnapping and search-and-rescue situation leading to large-scale violence engulfing the area.

According to the IDF, “The forces practiced a scenario of [violence] escalating following a kidnapping incident, of making an effort to locate and free the captives, making use of General Staff resources and examining inter-agency work methods.”

The exercise saw troops from the Judea and Samaria Division, the Paratroopers, special forces specializing in guerrilla warfare and reconnaissance, the Shin Bet (Israeli internal security organization), Israel Police and rescue and firefighters join hands to prepare for the eventuality they hope never to face.

“We drilled on everything that we could imagine in terms of violent uprisings, should it happen, even the most extreme,” the commander of the drill, Col. (res.) Guy Ashuri, told the Jerusalem Post.

The outcome of the drill was highly satisfactory. “In the West Bank, like on many fronts, the pressure is there,” Ashuri said. “You don’t need a lot for it to explode, and we are ready for any escalation. There is a high level of readiness. We are prepared for all scenarios.”

A kidnapping escalating into widespread violence and even all-out war is a tragic reality for Israel. In 2014, the abduction and subsequent murder of three teenage boys served as the opening salvo for the 40-day Gaza war dubbed Operation Protective Edge. And eight years earlier in 2006, the abduction of two IDF soldiers on the Lebanon border sparked the Second Lebanon War with Hezbollah.

The drill was the fourth such surprise exercise ordered by IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi to test the military’s ability to rise to the occasion during various crisis scenarios.

The first three surprise drills took place late last year. In September 2019, Kohavi put the navy to test. Two months later, the IDF Northern Command showed their mettle in a surprise exercise simulating war with Hezbollah, and in December 2019, Kohavi ordered a drill simulating a cyberattack disabling the Jewish state’s computer systems.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, September 11, 2020)

Photo Credit: Pvt. Eden Briand, IDF Spokesperson's Unit/flickr.com

Photo License: flickr.com

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for Israel’s continuing commitment to readiness and for the success of this drill. Pray, however, that the Lord will protect His nation and bless her with peace so that these strategies will never have to be implemented.

Scripture

The LORD will give strength to His people; the LORD will bless His people with peace.


- Psalm 29:11

Unemployment Figures in Israel Continue to Rise

by Shaked Eilat

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Unemployment in Israel continues to rise (illustrative)

Tuesday, 15 September 2020 | Israel’s rate of unemployment for job seekers and workers on unpaid leave due to the coronavirus pandemic fell slightly in August to 9.8%, compared with 10.3% in July, according to data released Monday by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).

The unemployment rate, however, rose to 5.4% compared to 5.1% in the previous month. The figures are expected to change dramatically in the coming month due to the closure that will begin on Friday and last for at least three weeks.

CBS data shows that the number of unemployed rose to 223,400 in August, compared to 209,300 in July.

The Employment Service continues to have different data on the number of unemployed and workers on unpaid leave to the CBS data. According to the Employment Service, there are currently 738,256 registered job seekers, of which 422,377 are on unpaid leave.

The Employment Service has consistently published significantly higher jobless figures than the CBS, as it is believed those placed on unpaid leave are quicker to register with the Employment Service than those who declare they have returned to work.

According to the CBS, less than two-thirds (62.2%) of Israelis aged 15 and over were part of the workforce. The number of Israelis who do not participate in the workforce (those who do not seek work at all) stood at 2,508,000 or 37.8%. This is a relatively low rate for developed countries.

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by Ynetnews on September 14, 2020. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Compatir por igual/flickr.com

Photo License: Flickr

Prayer Focus
Pray that the Lord will restore Israel’s economy, putting people back to work and opening the nation to travel, tourism and trade once again. Ask the Lord for a quick end to the lockdown and for His provision for those who are out of work in the interim.

Scripture

They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, and My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth children for trouble; for they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the LORD.


- Isaiah 65:21–23a

Action
As Israel heads into yet another three-week lockdown, the atmosphere is fraught with tension, anxiety and loss. The memory of the previous lockdown and its devastating effects on the economy and individual livelihoods is still fresh in the minds of countless Israelis. The poor and the newly poor (formerly middle class) have not recovered from the blow that left many destitute—and now fear being sucked into a perpetuating downward spiral. On top of that, the poverty-stricken elderly, Holocaust survivors, new immigrants and widows who eagerly looked forward to the coming holidays as a silver lining in a sky packed with dark clouds, now dread the time traditionally set aside for family and joy. Many go into the three-week lockdown with empty cupboards and no way to put food on the table. At Bridges for Peace, we are called to come alongside Israel during these trying times, to bless them with food, peace of mind and the comfort of knowing that Christians around the world care for them. Will you help us help them?

The “Woke” Indifference to Jew-Hatred

by Judith Bergman~Gatestone Institute

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Twitter plays a significant role in promoting anti-Semitism.

Friday, 11 September 2020 | Jew hatred in the United States has grown more prevalent in recent years. In 2019, there were 2,107 anti-Semitic incidents, according to a May report by the Anti-Defamation League. It was the highest number in 40 years. The incidents included 61 physical assault cases, 1,127 instances of harassment and 919 acts of vandalism.

Anti-Semitism is also peaking in several European countries. In 2019, Germany, with 2,032 incidents, saw the highest number of anti-Semitic crimes in nearly two decades. The United Kingdom registered “a record number” of anti-Semitic incidents in 2019 for the fourth year in a row with 1,805 incidents—“the highest number ever logged in a calendar year,” according to a report in the Guardian. In France, anti-Semitic attacks surged by 74% in 2018 compared to the previous year and an additional 27% in 2019. One violent attack in 2018 was the brutal murder of Mireille Knoll, an 85-year-old French Jewish Holocaust survivor, who was murdered in her Paris apartment by two men, who shouted “Allahu Akbar” [Arabic for “Allah is greater”] as they stabbed her 11 times and set her apartment on fire.

The growth in anti-Semitism comes a mere 80 years after millions of Jews were rounded up in Europe and subjected to enslavement, mass shootings, “medical experiments,” and industrial mass murder in Nazi concentration camps, for no other reason than being Jewish.

In our hypersensitive, hyper-racialized “woke” culture, where speaking obvious truths such as “all lives matter” will get you immediately cancelled, terminated from your job and classified as racist, one would assume that the rise in anti-Semitism would prompt maximum outrage. Promoting anti-Semitism, however, rarely gets anyone—apart from the occasional white supremacist—cancelled. This double-standard continues despite hate speech being generally considered completely unacceptable and dangerous, as reflected in the policies against hate speech of the social media and tech giants.

Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Black Muslim Nation of Islam, and considered by many a professional anti-Semite, has promoted conspiracy theories about Jews. He has called them “satanic” and praised Hitler as “a very great man.” Celebrities and others who promote Farrakhan rarely ever experience the public excoriation and the accompanying cancellations that normally accompany people who exhibit such racism. His speeches and interviews are freely available on YouTube, which has dubiously declared that it stands “in solidarity against racism and violence.” Evidently, that solidarity does not extend to anti-Jewish racism. Instead, YouTube relays the message that, to paraphrase Orwell, some racism is more racist than others.

Chelsea Handler, an American comedian, recently promoted a video clip of Farrakhan on her Instagram account, praising Farrakhan for the “strong video” about white people and black power. Handler only took it down after much criticism, and offered a half-baked apology.

Several other celebrities have also been promoting Farrakhan’s brand of Jew hatred on social media. In early June, the rapper Ice Cube, apparently an admirer of Farrakhan, let loose in a series of tweets, which, according to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar writing in the Hollywood Reporter, “involved some creepy symbols and images…[and] implied that Jews were responsible for the oppression of blacks.” Despite a history of anti-Semitism, Ice Cube’s recent tweets caused barely a scratch in his image.

Typically, “wrongthinkers” who make the career-crushing mistake of publishing their thoughts on social media receive no mercy and are greeted with instant “cancellation.” Apologies that are offered, however groveling, are usually not accepted.

In the rare cases, however, when anti-Semites do experience sustained pushback and even consequences to their careers, there seems to be a strong willingness by those who would usually do the cancelling to forgive and forget. US media personality Nick Cannon, for instance, was recently fired by ViacomCBS after he promoted anti-Semitic conspiracy theories on his podcast; nevertheless Fox did not fire Cannon from his role as host in the network’s reality series The Masked Singer.

Twitter itself plays a significant role in promoting anti-Semitism. In the UK, the rapper Wiley recently went on a 48-hour anti-Semitic rant on Twitter. He not only spread a number of conspiracy theories and insults against Jews, but also said that they should be shot and that he was coming to “sit with” them in Golders Green, a Jewish neighborhood in London. Despite thousands of complaints, Twitter left most of the rapper’s tweets up for six days and only decided to ban him for life after a 48-hour boycott of the platform by thousands of British users, including Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Twitter has even tried to claim that the genocidal variety of Jew hatred—the kind at which Iranian leaders excel—does not violate its rules. When asked recently by Israel’s Knesset [Parliament] Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs why Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has called to “eliminate” the Jewish state on Twitter, remains free to tweet while President Donald Trump’s tweets were flagged for violating Twitter policies on hate speech, Twitter’s Head of Public Policy, Government & Philanthropy for the Nordics & Israel, Ylwa Pettersson, responded:

“We have an approach to world leaders that presently says direct interactions with public figures, comments on political issues of the day or foreign policy saber-rattling on military and economic issues are generally not in violation of twitter rules.”

Pettersson was then asked, whether “Calling for genocide is OK, but commenting on political situations is not?” She replied:

“If a world leader violates our rules, but if there is a clear interest in keeping that on the service, we may place it behind a notice that provides some more context about the violation and allows people to click if they wish to see that type of content. That is what happened for the Trump tweet. That tweet was violating our policies regarding the glorification of violence…and the risk that it could possibly inspire harm and similar actions.”

It appears that the self-righteous outrage of the wokerati is absent when the person at the receiving end of racism is a Jew.

Judith Bergman, a columnist, lawyer and political analyst, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute.

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by the Gatestone Institute on September 10, 2020. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: PhotoMIX-Company/pixabay.com

Prayer Focus
Pray that millions of voices worldwide will be raised in objection to the anti-Semitic rhetoric that is allowed on Twitter and other social media. Pray that the Lord will move on the hearts of people around the world to recognize the evil of anti-Semitism and beseech Him that increasing numbers of people and governments will join the fight to extinguish the anti-Semitic fire that is raging around the world.

Scripture

“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is from Me,” says the LORD


- Isaiah 54:17

Israel Comes to the Rescue of Flood-hit Chad

by Kate Norman

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The country of Chad is in northern Africa

Thursday, 17 September 2020 | After being hammered by severe flooding, the African nation of Chad sent a military plane to Israel to pick up tents and other much-needed necessities from an Israeli disaster relief organization on Wednesday.

Israeli Flying Aid [IFA] donated enough tents to house 12,000 Chadians whose homes were washed away in the floods, as well as medical equipment to help with the country’s fight against COVID-19 and equipment for pesticides to kill mosquitoes carrying malaria, IFA’s founder said.

This comes just over a week after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with visiting Chad Cabinet Chairman—and son of the president of Chad—Abdelkerim Déby to discuss the possibility of the African nation opening an embassy in Jerusalem. Déby also met with Israeli Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen.

After their meeting, the Intelligence Ministry released a statement saying, “At the request of Minister Cohen, General Déby responded positively to advancing the establishment of an official representative office of Chad in Jerusalem.”

Israel and Chad reopened ties last year, which had previously been terminated in 1972, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Israeli Flying Aid is a nonprofit organization that focuses on sending disaster relief and humanitarian aid to countries that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel, most notably sending hundreds of tons of supplies to war-torn Syria.

The organization was established in 2005, according to its website, in response to a UN statute that says humanitarian aid must be accepted into a country by the ruling regime and that all aid must go through the UN.

“In response to these hypocritical and unjust regulations, IFA separates the needs of victims from political affiliations and delivers life-saving aid where it is needed,” the organizations website said, “not necessarily where it’s ‘legal’ or ‘allowed’ by international law.”

“IFA team members represent the pulsating heart of Israel and believe in the sanctity of human life and dignity, as reflected in Jewish Halacha (religious laws),” the website continues, citing Isaiah 1:17 as its inspiration: “Learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, September 17, 2020)

Photo Credit: onestopmap/pixabay.com

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord for Israel’s ability and willingness to help the people of Chad in the wake of the recent disaster. Pray that Chad will move forward with its plan to create a representative office in Jerusalem and ask the Lord to pour out His blessing on Chad as their friendship with Israel grows.

Scripture

I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you.


- Genesis 12:3

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